In The News

Will Cracking My Knuckles Cause Arthritis?

Popular wisdom has insisted that, by cracking your knuckles, you will inevitably develop arthritis in later years. According to Dr. Jack Choueka, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center, however, that is simply not the case.

“A healthy joint is surrounded by fluid containing oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide gasses,” explains Dr. Choueka. “The ‘cracking’ that you hear when cracking your knuckles is a result of gas bubbles popping within the fluid of your joints. The belief that this action increases one’s risk of arthritis is not supported by any evidence.” After the gas bubbles pop, it takes time (anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes) for them to re-form, which explains why it’s rare to be able to crack your knuckles twice in immediate succession.

However, try to eliminate this habit-forming action as habitual knuckle-cracking may result in functional hand impairment



Please send us your Will Cracking My Knuckles Cause Arthritis? questions or any questions to our friendly staff via our online Contact Form. You may also contact us at or visit our office at 6010 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11204.

Have a question about Maimonides Comprehensive Spine Center Welcomes Renowned Spine Expert Dr. Afshin Razi? Our Brooklyn Orthopaedic Institute office in Brooklyn, New York has answers.